Kabell Konsulting helps clients Managing for Results. We do this primarily through four strands of work:
- Promoting stronger organizations and strategic decision making by analysing and reframing issues and facilitating organizational dialogue and change
- Ensuring the basis for evidence based decision making, by generating knowledge about what works and how and why
- Helping develop robust results based management and measurement frameworks, systems and practices through reviews and assessments and sharing of best practices
- Enhancing capacity in all areas of results based management through specific activities and through a participative, culturally sensitive approach to everything we do
Major assignments in these key areas have enabled us help clients improve the way they work in important ways. It has also informed client's policy making and programme planning and we have listed some examples of our work in the following sections.
A key dimension for Kabell Konsulting and a driver and motivating element is the learning aspect. We keep learning. Our work continuously gives us new knowledge and insights, which guide our way of working and areas of interest. And we share, validate and nuance this learning through our international network and participation in professional events. Some of the key assignments and insights are presented below.
Building knowledge through evaluative and analytical work is a fundamental management tool for any high performance organization. It is the basis for making sound decisions and managing not on gut feeling or anecdotes, but based on evidence and facts. Evidence-based management is learning in a systematic way from experience; we want to contribute to develop that experience.
We have helped inform Danish development assistance policies through a major evaluation of regional assistance to Southern Africa and we have conducted an assessment of the politically important Regions of Origin Programme.
We participated in a large evaluation of the EC's aid delivery provided through multilateral channels, and in two evaluations for the African Development Bank, one on their partnership with IFAD and one on their Policy in Fragile States. This year, we have also participated in an evaluation of IFAD’s country programme in Indonesia.
Using knowledge strategically is another key concern for all organizations. We need to know what works and why, and what results organizations generate, but we also need sometimes to further analyze and reframe this knowledge with a view to internal organizational change, or to provide strategic direction to an organization.
The evaluation of the African Development Bank's decentralization strategy was one such opportunity to gather evidence on its implementation and use this knowledge to further think through a range of strategic options for the Bank.
Organizational and strategic analysis was the basis for a key assignment helping Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network – MOPAN - www.mopanonline.org decide among several options for their future structure and the location of their Secretariat.
In IFAD, the evaluation we conducted of their Replenishments contributed to a review of and subsequent change in the governance structure as well as change in internal business practices
Accountability to citizens and stakeholders is essential both in developed and developing countries. Good performance practices and monitoring and evaluation systems are fundamental for aid effectiveness. Without good results reporting, good decision-making and transparent management is difficult, and aid effectiveness elusive. That is why we want to be engaged in the aid effectiveness debate and work.
We have been deeply involved in the Aid Effectiveness agenda from the start and have contributed at various points to its development, with a particular stress on all the aspects related to managing for development results.
The evaluation of the implementation on of the Paris Declaration is one of the largest, most complex and potentially significant evaluations carried out in the development field. It is a unique example of the international community recognizing the critical importance of evidence based policy making; we are proud to have been at the core of this process both in Phase one and Phase two.
We were chosen to prepare the Synthesis report for the Evaluation of the Paris Declaration, (Phase 1) and presented the findings at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra in September 2008. Dorte Kabell also contributed to the Danish Head Quarter study which was part of the overall Phase 1 Evaluation.
For Phase 2 we teamed up with one of our strategic partners, IOD-PARC and the final evaluation report – a synthesis of more than 30 individual evaluative reports that we have supported in various ways - was presented at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea www.aideffectiveness.org/busanhlf4
Robust results based management and measurement systems must build on clear strategic planning, where institutional strategic priorities and accountabilities are aligned with the results that matter most. An organizational analysis, conducted in a participative process, can help clearly identify which results matter most.
We have for example also developed an approach and methodology for capacity assessments of humanitarian NGOs for Danida, and applied it to five major NGOs.
Systems and processes for results based management must be designed for decision-making, institutional learning and accountability. Methods, systems and reporting must be developed with this in mind.
We have worked with UNEP to help them improve their organizational effectiveness and efficiency through better Results Based Management Systems.
To Manage for Results, performance measurement systems must be in place; it is critical to measure the right things, by the right indicators, at the right time and with appropriate processes.
Key assignments in this specific area include accompanying a major World Bank leadership development programmes in Madagascar and Burundi from the very beginning, developing the evaluation framework and instruments, and strengthening the evaluation culture and practices.
Capacity building in all aspects of results based management is a central element of everything we do. Managing for results requires systems, processes, principles, tools - and conscious efforts. Building capacity and making the fullest use of existing systems are central when designing new systems or improving existing systems. However, where some of the elements of a system fail or are weak, they need strengthening. While capacity development is inherent in our approach for all assignments, we also carry out special activities aimed at enhancing specific elements of Managing for Results.
We have for example undertaken the comprehensive updating of the Evaluation handbook in IFAD. This was an opportunity to review both methodologies and processes and ensure that they constitute best international practice. It is the basis for the organization’s evaluation function and hence the guarantor of evidence based decisionmaking. Updating the handbook generated many discussions and learning events and in that way not only the product constitute enhance capacity but the process very much did so too.
Capacity building is not only for our clients, but also a key concern for us as a company wanting to stay at the forefront of our discipline. We therefore upgrade our own skills continuously, and participate actively in the international community of practice, where we also subject key assignments to peer review.